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The new restrictions announced by the Prime Minister will impact on premises licence requirements.  Here is what you need to know. 

Yesterday (9 September), the Prime Minister announced new restrictions in England effective from Monday 14 September. 

From Monday, gatherings of more than 6 people will be unlawful unless certain exemptions apply.  This is known as the ‘Rule of 6’.  Other requirements such as track and trace have also changed.

What does this mean for your business?

‘Rule of 6’

From Monday 14 September, people cannot meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes.

There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups.

From Monday, this limit will be enforceable in law.

What it means for you

Can I go to a pub or restaurant with people I don’t live with?

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you should keep to the wider rules on group sizes: you must only attend these places in groups of up to 6 people. You can attend in larger numbers with the people you live with/who are in your support bubble. This rule will apply and become the law from 14 September.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. You should think about where to sit at a table with this in mind – the premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. It remains the case that you do not need to maintain social distancing with those in your support bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers. 

Does this mean that no more than six people can be in a pub or restaurant at once?

Venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit in a group of greater than 6. When you visit one of these places, such as a pub, shop, leisure venue, restaurant or place of worship you should: 

  • follow the limits on the number of other people you should meet with as a group (it will be illegal to be in group of more than six from outside of your household)
  • avoid social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with, even if you see other people you know
  • provide your contact details to the organiser so that you can be contacted if needed by the NHS Test and Trace programme

NHS Test and Trace

Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance.

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in alcohol and entertainment licensing law, appeals and defence.

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